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10.22.17 The 11th Annual Championship was played at John Bapst Memorial High School on Saturday, October 22, 2017. The tournament was won by Jarod Bryan with a perfect 4.0 points in four games. Andrew Brenneman took the top spot amongst the U1200 field. Here is the illustrated tournament report with US Chess crosstables.

This African-themed chess set was on display in the John Bapst High School Library during the 2017 Championship tournament.

USCF Crosstable of this event

This tournament was organized and directed by Dan DeLuca. Thanks to Bapst chess coach Mike Dudley and John Bapst Memorial High School for providing the venue.

Fourteen players competed in the 11th annual edition of the Championship. The tournament was comprised of four rounds of chess at a time control of game in 75 minutes plus a five-second delay from move one.

Jarod Bryan played true to form as the first seed and won four consecutive games to take clear first. Jim DuBois, Roger Morin, and Nathan Gates put up 3.0 points to share second. A fine performance of two wins and a draw for Andrew Brenneman netted him the title of first U1200 player. Ben Mock also scored 2.5 points including an 1800 scalp with a nice last round win over Curt Brock.

Wyatt Hendrix, Brian Hurst, and Mike Dudley scored 2.0 points to tie for equal seventh.

Prize recipients were: Jarod Bryan (Open 1st), Jim DuBois and Roger Morin (Open 2nd), Nathan Gates (Class B) and Ben Mock (Class C).

Thanks to all players for participating and big thanks again to John Bapst High School for hosting.

2017 Champion Jarod Bryan

Back to his native Maine from southern California: Jim DuBois

Roger Morin always seems to work his way into the top tiers of finishers.

Nathan Gates took home the Class B prize for his efforts. In tournament chess, it's pretty rare to see a checkmate on the board as players usually will resign in a losing position. Nathan ended not one but two (!) games in this tournament with checkmate.

U1200 winner Andrew Brenneman (left) takes a look at his game with Wyatt Hendrix in the skittles area.

Ben Mock padded his rating with another 27 points. contributing game editor Wyatt Hendrix

Brain Hurst went two for four.

Our host: Mike Dudley

You can't win 'em all. Curt Brock had a tough outing with 1.0 point.

Andrew Nevells

Damien Sullivan played in his first US Chess rated tournament.

Minh Nguyen

Proud grandpa Brian Hurst shows off his cool T.

Here's another view of the African-themed set.

This rook and pawn endgame between Nathan Gates and Curt Brock looked like it was headed for a draw when suddenly Brock's king found itself rudely mated.

The tournament room--thanks to all for making this event a great success.

12.10.16 Fifty-five players turned up for the 12th Annual Aurora Winter Solstice Tournament at the Airline Community School in Aurora, Maine on Saturday, December 10, 2016. Winners were: Jarod Bryan and Sam Song (Open), J. Paul Ciarrocchi (U1600), Colin Rich (U1200), Isaac Dinnerstein (U800), and Zoe Dinnerstein (U400). Here's the illustrated tournament report with USCF crosstables.

The tournament was held at the Airline Community School located in the blueberry barrens of Aurora, Maine.

USCF Crosstables of the event

The Aurora Winter Solstice has become one of the most popular tournaments in Maine. This year it hosted fifty-five players in five sections. Players ranged in skill level from USCF 2342 to unrated novices playing in their first rated tournament. We sincerely thank all players, parents, coaches, and volunteers for continuing to make this tournament a great success. A special thank you to Andy Bryan and the Airline Community School for hosting this event for twelve years straight!

In the Open section, Jarod Bryan (2247) and Sam Song (2342) shared equal first with 3.0 points in three games. Just off the lead in a tie for third was Bill Hartt (1506) who took down both Bob Bridgham (1775) and Roger Morin (2034). Hartt shared third with Aaron Spencer (2066), Chester Young (1889), Curt Brock (1764) and Roger Morin.

J. Paul Ciarrocchi (1191) was clear first in the U1600 section with 2.5 points in three games. Medomak Valley High School's Greg Wadsworth (1166) took second with 1.5 points and Tony Freudig (1271) and Michael Dudley (1357) shared third.

In the U1200 section, Colin Rich (984) was perfect on the day with 4.0 points in four games. Nehemiah Brown (585) put up 3.0 points for clear second and five players tied for third with 2.0 points apiece: Zachary Grindal (1047), Kaleb Pendleton (917), Ben Penfold (830), Brendan Penfold (1108), and Benjamin Mock (931).

Cape Elizabeth's Isaac Dinnerstein (606) rose to the top of the crosstable in the U800 section with 3.5 points. Jakob McPhee (564) and Colby Allen (480) shared second each scoring 3.0 points.

Another Dinnerstein, this time Zoe (335), took the laurels in the U400 section with a perfect 4.0 points in as many games. A pack of four players were close on her heels tying for second with 3.0 points: Sean Adams (389), Gabriel Morrill (unr), Simon Shyka-Brown (unr), and Sol Tyler (261).

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Jarod Bryan clinched the 2016 Maine Chess Player of the Year honors with his equal first place finish.

The other half of the equal first was New Brunswick, Canada master Sam Song.

Bill Hartt had a tremendous tournament with two impressive victories in three games for equal second.

Back to his old stomping ground: Aaron Spencer put up 2.0 points to tie Hartt for second along with...

Chester Young

Curt Brock and

Roger Morin.

Brian Hurst was the sole 1.5 point getter.

Nathan Gates shared 9th place with...

Joseph Powell

Tom Sandford

Ramiro Ponce

Bob Bridgham and

Wyatt Hendrix.

MECA Secretary Eric Dinnerstein was able to get half a point in the Open section.

Daniel Robbins rounded out the section scoreless.

J. Paul Ciarrocchi took the U1600 section players to task scoring 2.5 points and finishing in clear first.

Paul was also the lucky winner of this official World Chess Championship 2016 poster.

We know that Greg Wadsworth has made his former coach Jim DuBois happy with this second place finish.

Tony Freudig scored 1.0 point along with

Michael Dudley.

Colin Rich of Mount Desert Island High School topped the U1200 section by blanking his opponents four straight.

Nehemiah Brown was in sole possession of second in the U1200 section with 3.0 points.

Zachary Grindal topped the five-player group tying for third.

Behind Grindal on tie breaks were: Kaleb Pendleton

Ben Penfold (front row right)

Brendan Penfold and

Benjamin Mock.

Cyrus Grindal scored 1.0 point and tied for eighth place with

Linh Nguyen.

Isaac Dinnerstein won the U800 section scoring 3.5 points.

Jakob McPhee scored 3.0 points to tie for second with

Colby Allen (back row right).

Evan Chapman scored 2.0 points for sole fourth place.

Andrew Bubar took fifth with 1.5 points.

Brady Smith topped the 1.0 point getter group that included

Colin Lacasse and

Henry Penfold.

Girl Power! Zoe Dinnerstein won the U400 section with a perfect 4.0 points.

Sean Adams was first among equals in the 3.0 point scoring bracket that included

Gabriel Merill

Simon Shyka-Brown and

Sol Tyler.

Ben Gordon scored 2.0 points and tied for sixth with

Ruby DeLuca Lowell

Jayden Lewis

Tucker Norwood

Sam Page

Madeline Hanson and

Gabriel Hall.

Colby Lacasse scored 1.5 points to tie with

Aiden Espling.

Jacob Van de Sande shared fifteenth place with his classmate

Hannah Wells.

Dylan Richardson notched a draw as did

Leah Wilson.

The U400 contingent

The U800's

And the U1200's

04.15.15 We just updated you on the activities of Steve Abrahams, a former Maine player who has relocated to Florida. In this report, we catch up with another Mainer who has moved to warmer environs. Jim Dubois fills us in on sunny Southern Califonia, the San Diego Chess Club, and what's going on in his chess life.

Back east Jim DuBois plays in the 2014 Eastern Class Championships in Sturbridge, Mass.

Greetings from Sunny Southern California!
It's been just over six months since we arrived here near Laguna Beach in Orange County. We are very blessed to have such generous friends to have made relocating possible! My life partner (Oakley) and I drove across the US in 7 days with her dog Pip and cat Trouble via the "southern route" and passed through Crossville, TN - now home to the USCF; it was after business hours so we kept on trucking.

After unpacking, returning the Penske truck, resting and recuperating, we both found work relatively quickly. Oakley passed her state exam and is now a field agent for Bankers' Life and I handle business development for Benutech, a real estate data company located in Irvine.

My Benutech office in Irvine

I could not have moved to a more perfect and picturesque place, the two things I love most are here; sun and chess! This was my first winter without the need for a shovel; it has been pretty much shirt sleeves and sun bathing nonstop since last September! Terrific beaches with water at or above 62 degrees from San Diego to LA County and chess clubs to match!

The San Diego Chess Club is the one I choose to be my home club for several reasons, but mostly because we have rated play every Wednesday night and it is a fulltime club with the famous Gambito tournaments held every Saturday. The club has over 150 members and on any given Wednesday you can find yourself in a field that has a dozen or more players over 2000 including a couple of Masters. As a point of reference NM Bruce Baker continues his reign as club champion.

SDCC Chess friends at the Senior/Junior Open

My performance at the club has generally been on the plus side including one club event with a second place finish and another in which I yielded four draws including a stalemate in a completely won position, UGH! Currently the club is undergoing some major renovations so I am taking a month off from activities in San Diego.

Meantime I just tied for first overall in the U2000 section of the Senior/Junior Open held at the beautiful Irvine Hilton. I've included my best game from this event. Anyone that remembers me from tournament play in New England knows I was a lifelong e4 player, but I've converted to d4 and love this change as well. Here's a link to the crosstable.

Spacious and bright is the Irvine Hilton

Chess vendor at the Senior/Junior Open from The Chess Palace located in Anaheim, a terrific family owned business and sponsor of the American Open which I played in during the Thanksgiving holiday. Here is that crosstable.

With the recent rating increase, I've made this year to break 2000, so in keeping with my resolution I have hired a coach, IM Tim Taylor. He also took first in the Open section of the Senior/Junior tournament which was organized by the SDCC with a $13,000 guaranteed prize fund!

IM Tim Taylor on right drawing at the Senior/Junior Open

For all of the players that struggle to reach the next rating plateau, it seems the secret is to be in a rating pool with a vast number of higher rated players and simply play; which is of course the ideal situation here. The scholastic players are evident in droves at tournaments, many of them A players to Expert and well above. There are also seemingly dozens that have GMs for coaches. A very tough demographic!

High School All Americans in the top section of the Senior/Junior Open. Left is Joshua Sheng attacking Craig Hilby, calm and impressive defense by the second player secured a draw!

Downsides to living here? Driving in Southern California is very different from Maine and even Boston. There is a tremendous amount of traffic that moves at a much higher rate of speed with standstill congestion that can develop quicker than you can imagine, but overall the drivers get it and are more than courteous. Personally another drawback I have encountered is how easy it is to become distracted with everything to do, see and enjoy! I know that's tough! And it is true about Californians being laid back, flip flops are standard issue.

California IS a car state!

I have been keeping up with Maine chess though this Website and wanted to congratulate my former students from Medomak, especially Greg Wadsworth, keep it up! Everyone is welcome to contact me at

And of course yours truly receives a nice check from the SDCC Vice President Chuck Ensey!

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08.16.14 Lance Beloungie leads the Maine Chess Player of the Year competition with a score of 25.2 points. He is trailed by Roger Morin and Curt Brock with 20.5 and 20.0 points respectively. The next event is the First Lincoln Open on Saturday, September 27, 2014. More information on the year-long Maine Chess Player of the Year competition can be found here.

Leading the 2014 Maine Chess Player of the Year competition: Lance Beloungie

Thanks to Lee Doucette for contributing to this report.

Maine Chess Player of the Year 2014

Date Points
1. Saco Open 1/17/14 8.0
2. MLK 2014 1/19/14 8.0
3. ME State Chmp 4/13/14 10.0
4. Houlton May 2014 5/31/14 8.0
5. Chmp 6/29/14 8.0

Total points 42.0

Games - 1 point for each game played, forced bye, forfeit win; 1/2 point for draw; 0 point for a requested bye

Points - tournament point total based on win-draw-loss score for event

Name Score Games Points
1 BELOUNGIE, LANCE 25.2 17.0 8.2
2 MORIN, ROGER 20.5 12.0 8.5
3 BROCK, CURT 20.0 12.0 8.0
4 DOUCETTE, LEROY 18.0 13.0 5.0
5 BERUBE, MAX 16.0 9.0 7.0
6 BORLAND, GABE 15.0 9.0 6.0
7 FISHBEIN, MATTHEW 15.0 9.0 6.0
8 ALBIN, DMITRY 14.5 9.0 5.5
9 LOWELL, PHILIP 13.0 9.0 4.0
10 BRADY, JOHN 12.5 8.0 4.5
11 BURTT, WILLIAM 12.5 8.0 4.5
12 SPENCER, AARON 12.0 8.0 4.0
13 ALLEN, THOMAS 11.5 8.0 3.5
14 RAVN, WILL 11.5 8.0 3.5
15 TRIPP, RYAN 11.5 8.0 3.5
16 DUBOIS, JAMES 11.0 8.0 3.0
17 BRYAN, JAROD 9.5 5.0 4.5
18 HURST, BRIAN 9.5 7.0 2.5
19 POWELL, JOSEPH 9.0 5.0 4.0
20 BRYAN, ANDREW 8.5 6.0 2.5
21 BUXTON, JON 8.0 5.0 3.0
22 FRANKLIN, TROY 8.0 6.0 2.0
23 SANDFORD, THOMAS 8.0 5.0 3.0
24 PLUMMER, DONALD 7.5 4.0 3.5
25 YOUNG, CHESTER 7.5 4.0 3.5
26 BLANKENSHIP, F T 7.0 4.0 3.0
27 BURTT, AUSTIN 7.0 4.0 3.0
28 COLLEMER, FRANK 7.0 5.0 2.0
29 FISHBEIN, MATTHEW 7.0 4.0 3.0
30 JONES, FRED 7.0 5.0 2.0
31 LAVALLEE, DANIEL 6.5 4.0 2.5
32 SHIELDS, GREGORY 6.5 5.0 1.5
33 BUTLER, DARRELL 6.0 4.0 2.0
34 PARLEE, BRENDAN 6.0 4.0 2.0
35 RODERICK, BRIAN 6.0 4.0 2.0
36 SNYDER, GLENN 6.0 4.0 2.0
37 VEL, VETRI 5.5 4.0 1.5
38 FISHBEIN, DANIEL 5.3 4.0 1.3
39 MCPHETERS, MARK 5.0 5.0 0.0
40 PARLEE, CAMERON 5.0 4.0 1.0
41 ELLISON, JOHN 4.0 3.0 1.0

03.27.14 Of the 254 players competing in seven sections of the Eastern Class Championships on the weekend of March 14th, 2014 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, ten were from the great state of Maine. Aaron Spencer and Troy Franklin played in the Expert (2000-2199) section, Jim DuBois and John Phythyon played in the Class A (1800-1999) section, William Ravn, Curt Brock, Gabe Borland and Greg Anderson played in the Class B (1600-1799) section and Brian Hurst and Dan DeLuca tried their hand in the Class C (1400-1599) section. Here's the illustrated tournament report with USCF crosstables and a selected game.

The tournament room at the Eastern Class Championships

USCF crosstable of this event

Thanks to Brian Hurst for contributing to this report.

Leader of the pack: Aaron Spencer was the Maine contingent's highest-rated player.

Troy Franklin (1819) played up in the Expert section.

FIDE National Instructor Jim DuBois

Always a tough opponent: John Phythyon

The enterprising and imaginative Will Ravn

A player with a GM scalp in his haversack: Curt Brock

Bates College alumnus Gabe Borland

The man behind the Bangor Chess Club: Brian Hurst

Your humble web editor Dan DeLuca

International Master Danny Kopec gave instructive lectures on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

IM Kopec is the author of many chess improvement books and DVD's and is a professor of computer science at Brooklyn College.

Players check their pairings in the lobby just before round 2.

Legendary organizer and director Bill Goichberg founded the Continental Chess Association the organization hosting this event.

World Youth Chess Championship participant and youngest ever USCF expert from Massachusetts Carissa Yip.

Natasha Christiansen, spouse of GM Larry Christiansen

GM's Gata Kamsky (foreground left) and Sam Shankland (background left) share a laugh with their opponents before beginning their games.

GM Alexsandr Lenderman (right) plays William Kelleher in round 2.

GM Alexander Ivanov

GM Alexander Fishbein

Harry Olynik (right) plays the black pieces using a specially designed set for blind and visually impaired players.

Just after a game, players check what they may have missed on a variety of electronic devices.

Here's the game Maxwell Chen (1210) vs Dan DeLuca (1529) from Round 4 in the Class C section:

03.11.14 Are you serious about improving your chess and increasing your rating? USCF and FIDE certified Coach Jim DuBois will be holding exclusive ongoing Round Robin, rated tournaments including game analysis beginning April 19th in Damariscotta at his Chess Center. Open to youth and adult.

Are you a ready to improve your chess?

Parents are encouraged to accompany scholastic players.
Players must have an established rating of 800 to 1200.
Round Robin time control is G/60, d/5 fully USCF rated.
Size is very limited per session to ensure quality.
Professional equipment provided including scorebooks.
Game analysis concludes each event.
Lunch is provided at no additional cost.
Discount for Chess Center students.

Take advantage of this opportunity by contacting Jim DuBois:
Mobile: (207) 441-4790

03.01.14 The world's largest team chess tournament--the 44th Annual World Amateur Team East--was played at the Parsippany, New Jersey Hilton on February 15-17, 2014. Of the 1,173 players in 278 teams five were from the great state of Maine! As far as we know, this represented the first time in the history of the tournament that Maine had fielded a team. The Maine team consisted of four players: Aaron Spencer, Troy Franklin, Jim DuBois and Gabe Borland. Matthew Fishbein played on a mixed team with his coach IM David Vigorito.

The Maine contingent at the World Amateur Team East in Parsippany, New Jersey (left to right) Matthew Fishbein, Jim Dubois, Aaron Spencer, Gabe Borland and Troy Franklin.

USCF crosstable of this event

Thanks to Dan Fishbein for contributing to this report.

A chess festival like no other, the World Amateur Team East attracted numerous Grandmasters, International Masters and chess celebrities including former World Champion Garry Kasparov, former US Women's Champion and GM Irina Krush and Massachusetts IM David Vigorito to name a few.

For the first time in the 44 year history of the tournament, there was an all-Maine team. In board order: Aaron Spencer, Troy Franklin, Jim DuBois and Gabe Borland had a solid result with a score of 3.0 points in six rounds.

Aaron Spencer had a very strong tournament, with 4.5 points, including a win in the final round over Evan Rabin of Massachusetts, (USCF 2206) that stoked his rating to 2100. (Rabin was an instructor at the USA Chess Camp in Cape Elizabeth a few years ago.) Troy Franklin on board 2 scored 2.5 points, Jim Dubois on board 3 put up 2.5 points and Gabe Borland on board 4 finished with 3.0 points
Matthew Fishbein played for the third straight year on a team anchored by his coach IM David Vigorito of Massachusetts. Board 2 was Nate Resika, of New York (he's an opera singer, who opened the tournament with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem), Fishbein was on Board 3 and Mark Fins of Massachusetts was on Board 4. With Matthew the only player under 40, the team's name was "3 1/2 men."

Fishbein scored 4.5 points, and with that increased his USCF rating from 2195 to 2205, reaching the level of Master and earning the official USCF title "National Master." He also became, for the moment at least, the highest rated player in Maine, edging out Jarod Bryan by 3 points.

Congratulations to all of Maine's representatives for upholding the state motto "Dirigo." (I lead.)

Action at the Amateur Team East: Matthew Fishbein's team "3 1/2 men" play at foreground left.

Board 1 for "3 1/2 men" IM David Vigorito (right) plays GM and former US Women's Champion Irina Krush.

The two get down to business with 1. Nf3.

Aaron Spencer (standing) watches his teammates (from left to right) Jim DuBois, Troy Franklin, and Gabe Borland.

Dan Fishbein (left) with arguably the best chess player of all time: Garry Kasparov.

With lots of snow on the ground it was a great weekend for chess!

01.14.14 Ten Maine chess players participated in the 2014 Boston Chess Congress at the Hyatt Boston Harbor hotel from January 10th-12th. This is the tournament's third year and each year it increases in popularity. Truly a top-flight tournament, the BCC attracted a number of GM's, IM's and FM's, offered superior playing conditions and was impeccably organized and directed by the Continental Chess Association.

The Boston skyline from the Hyatt Boston Harbor, site of the 2014 Boston Chess Congress.

Of the 173 players who participated in the five-round tournament, the ten Maine players in order of their post-tournament rating, their section and their final score is as follows:

Matthew Fishbein (2135) Premier (2.5)
Zachary Bence (2005) U2100 (3.5)
Troy Franklin (1837) U2100 (2.5)
John Pythyon (1901) U1900 (4.0)
James DuBois (1839) U1900 (4.0)
William Ravn (1756) U1900 (1.5)
Dan DeLuca (1529) U1700 (2.5)
Ian Youth (1425) U1500 (3.5)
Thomas Allen (1238) U1300 (2.5)
Dan Fishbein (1226) U1300 (3.5)

USCF crosstable of this event

Matthew Fishbein (right) prepares to play his fourth-round game with New Hampshire Chess Association master Hal Terrie.

Bangor's Zachary Bence shakes hands to begin the final round. Bence had a strong performance pushing his USCF rating to the expert level (2005).

Waterville's Troy Franklin

John Pythyon

Certified FIDE National Instructor Jim Dubois

William Ravn

Your web editor Dan DeLuca (left) during his game with Hew Hampshire player Robert Kaminsky.

Scarborough's boy wonder Ian Youth

Thomas Allen

Cape Elizabeth's Dan Fishbein

Fresh off a second place finish in the U10 Girls section of the 2013 World Youth Chess Championships held last month in Dubai, Carissa Yip.

Grandmaster, current Massachusetts state champion and participant in the upcoming 2014 U.S. Championship Alexander Ivanov (right) plays Lawyer Times in round 2.

Assistant tournament director Christopher Bird gives players last-minute instructions before the final round. The tournament was professionally run from start to finish.

The tournament room

In addition to the main tournament there were an number of interesting side events. Here former Woman's Chess Champion Sharon Burtman gives a lecture on chess, children and education.

Massachusetts Chess Association's George Mirijanian assists Carissa Yip during a lecture featuring one of her games from the 2013 World Youth Chess Championships.

A bookstore showcasing publications from Boston's own Mongoose Press was available to players each day of the tournament.

And if players hadn't had enough chess after three days and five rounds under classical time control there was an eight-round blitz tournament on the evening of the last day.

The lovely in-house restaurant offered striking views of Boston from the ocean and a fine menu.

To top it off players were treated to coffee, tea, snacks and fruit throughout the tournament. (The $39/day parking waiver and rooms rates of just $79/day were great bennies as well.)

01.06.14 Forty-three players turned out at Maine's first chess tournament of the new year. The John Bapst Tournament in Memory of Bob Solinger was played at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor on Sunday, January 5th. The tournament remembers and honors former John Bapst chess team coach Bob Solinger who passed away on September 23, 2011.

Tournament Director Steve Wong gives the U1200 section instructions before starting the first round at the John Bapst Tournament in Memory of Bob Solinger on January 5th, 2014.

USCF crosstable of this event

The tournament was played in four sections: an eight-player open section, a four-person quad, an U1200 section and an U600 section.

Gabe Borland turned the crosstable upside-down and took first place in the open section with 3.0 points. Borland (USCF 1664) was seeded in last place but managed to take down Tom Sandford (1786), Curt Brock (1680) and Aaron Spencer (1979) on his way to tournament victory.

A three-way tie ensued for first place in the quad between Ryan Tripp (1567), Corey Dunn (1565) and Dan DeLuca (1510) who each scored 2.0 points.

Joseph Powell took first in the U1200 section with a perfect 4.0 in as many games and fellow Medomak Middle School student Osage Crie did the same in the U600 section scoring 4.0 points for clear first.

Bob Solinger playing at the Eastern Maine Open in 2006. He was a great advocate for chess in Maine as well as a great friend. He is dearly missed.

Last-seeded and first-finished Gabe Borland won the open section with 3.0 points.

Ryan Tripp

Corey Dunn and...

Dan DeLuca shared first in the quad section with 2.0 points.

First place finisher in the U1200 section Joe Powell was a force to be reckoned with scoring a perfect 4.0 points in four games and outpacing second place by a full point.

U600 section winner Osage Crie (third from left) is flanked by the U600 group.

Rob Shore (left) and Curt Brock prepare for their first round games with...

Roger Morin and...

Aaron Spencer respectively.

Tom Sandford (1786) had a fine performance with wins over Rob Shore (1721) and top seed Roger Morin (2034).

Nathan Shemwell was the youngest member of the quad section.

Joseph Astumian scored three points in the U1200 section along with...

Vetri Vel (second from the right with the U1200 group) and...

Zachary Grindal.

Ben Amar (third from left with the U1200 group) scored 2.5 points in the U1200 section with...

Brendan Penfold and...

John Lehman.

Catherine Rudnicki

Greg Wadsworth

The well-attended U1200 section commences with the first round.

Medomak Middle School student Joe Powell with his coach Jim DuBois.

The U600 section over the board.

Show me the money! Open section winner Gabe Borland with the bling.

On the wall of the tournament room. You may not know that Einstein was a chess player. Here is one of his games vs American theoretical physicist and father of the atom bomb J. Robert Oppenheimer.

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Tournament organizer Andy Bryan hands out trophies to the winners.

Do your kids leave their clothes in the middle of the hallway as well? Wait, what's this...?

Budding Grandmasters!

One of the great things about chess is that it is accessible to all ages--the very youngest as well as those not so young.

A variety of home baked good were available in the snack bar. Like these scrumptious scones and..

Open player Aaron Spencer's own signature dessert.

Your host: John Bapst Junior Anna Bryan!

Thanks to all who participated. Godspeed Bob Solinger!

The Best of 2013

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12.31.13 Since our inception in 2006, has been visited nearly 400,000 times by chess fans from all over the world. We thank our readership for their support over the years. It's the end of what was another great year for chess in Maine. Enjoy this look back at the movers, shakers, and record breakers of 2013!

Join us as we play through the year's tournaments, games, players and stories in this all-things-chess-in-Maine-2013 retrospective.

Players and directors in Maine participated in thirty-nine USCF-rated events in 2013. To see crosstables of all USCF-rated tournaments played in Maine this year please click here.

Winningest Players

The winningest players in Maine for 2013 were: Roger Morin, Jarod Bryan and William Ravn. For our purposes winning a section is considered a tournament win and credit is given to all players involved in a tie. Click on a player's name to view their USCF Member Detail page.

1. Roger Morin: 13 event wins
Roger Morin

2. Jarod Bryan: 4 event wins
Jarod Bryan

3. William Ravn: 4 event wins
William Ravn

Most Active Players

Here's the top three of Maine's most active players in 2013. Activity is defined as participation in USCF-rated tournaments both over-the-board and online. Click on the player's name to view their USCF Member Detail page.

1. William Ravn 28 events

2. Roger Morin 20 events

3. Aaron Spencer 19 events

State Champions

Congratulations to all of our 2013 Maine State Chess Champions! To see the names of all Maine state champions since 1942 please click here.

Maine State Champions

Ruben Babayan

Matthew Fishbein

Josh Quint

High School Champion: Matthew Fishbein

High School U1200: Krisford Melanio

Girls Co-Champions:

SooZin Cha shares the title of 2013 Maine Girls Champion with...

Claudia Serban

2013 K-8 Champion Wesley Parker

Winners in the K-6 section (left to right): Omar Khan (equal second), Nathan Shemwell (first), Vetri Vel (equal second), Oliver Brown Patricio (equal second), Brendan Parlee (equal second) and Brent Roberts (equal second)
K-6 Champion: Nathan Shemwell

K-3 Champion: Cyrus Gridal

2013 High School Champions: Cape Elizabeth (left to right): Matthew Reale-Hatem, Ben Hansel, Brett Parker, Matthew Fishbein, coach Dan Fishbein and Colin Smith.

Co-Champions High School Reserve: Van Buren (left to right): Nicholas Lajoie, coach Steven Giangiordano, Richard Michaud, Devin Berry, Derek Grivios and Cody Maldonado.

Co-Champions in the High School Reserve: Deer Isle Stonington (left to right): Nick Siebert, Krisford Melanio, Nathan Davis, Nick Eaton, Noah Davis and Noah Gillen (not pictured Cody Eaton).

High School Novice Champions: Deering High School (left to right): Orkhan Nadirli, Shervin Sabetti, Hilal Ahmed, Qutaiba Hassoon, Thoalfakar Alsaady (highest scoring player in the section with 4.0 points), Risopheak Rodriguez and coach Jeff Borland. Coach Borland informs us that all of these players are new to the US having been here for less than three years.

Jr. High School Champions: Deer Isle-Stonington (left to right): Kinsey Bartlett, Tyson Rice, SooZin Cha, Orly Vaughn, Avery Reynolds, Brendan Penfold, Ennis Marshall and coach Dick Powell.

Jr. High School Novice Champions: Piscatiquis Community Secondary School (left to right): Billy Griffith, Bradyn Fellows, Cody Randall and David Hession. Hesson and Griffith tied for highest scorer in the section.

2013 Elementary Team Champions: Deer Isle Stonington

First place in the Elementary Novice section: Deer Isle-Stonington (left to right): coach Tasha Brown, Nathan Thompson, Kobe Nevells, Dakota Emrick (section high scorer with 4.0 points), Tom Hutchinson, Jacob Gell and Zachary Billings (not pictured: Annie Reynolds and Liam Bishop).

Winners in the Primary Championship section: Breakwater School (left to right): Sampson Pfeffer, Davis Drown, Vivian Rallis, Oliver Chase, Max Hogenauer and Dax Penney.

Maine Chess Player of the Year

Congratulations to 2013 Maine Chess Player of the Year Roger Morin and to all who participated in this year-long event.

Roger Morin Wins 2013 Maine Chess Player of the Year Competition

Most Popular Stories of 2013 has surpassed 380,000 hits since its inception on March 11, 2006-- Based on web traffic to the site this year we've determined the following stories as the most popular of 2013. Take a second look, they're worth the read!

1. Scholastic Teams State Championship Report

2. All Saints Winter Warm-Up Tournament Report

3. Cha and Serban Share Title at Girls Championship

4. Jarod Bryan Wins Maine Player of the Year

5. Joe Brown Memorial Tournament Report

Biggest Upsets

Congratulations to the winners of the biggest upset games played in Maine in 2013. Losers take heart! You win some and you learn some.

Here are the top five biggest upsets in USCF-rated play in Maine for 2013:

1. Noah Munn (460) defeats M Lizotte (1276 P3) = 816 points, Fall Chess @ UMA

2. John Jones (1029) defeats Jon Buxton (1739) = 710 points, Maine Open

3. Caleb Marston (275) defeats Orly Vaughn (961) = 686 points, K-8 Individual Championship

4. Oliver James Brown Patricio (311) defeats Eric Youth (909) = 598 points, K-6 Individual Championship

5. Natalie Sheehan (121) defeats Vetri Vel (670) = 549, MLK Tournament

Tournament Directors

Maine had fourteen active tournament directors in 2013. To determine the most active tournament directors, we used a summation of three factors: number of tournaments directed, number of sections directed and number of players served. Based on this criteria the following tournament directors are listed based on their directing activity in Maine for 2013. Thanks to all TDs in Maine for their hard work, dedication and service to the Maine chess community.

1. (tie) Steve Wong: 5 events, 14 sections, 184 players = 203

1. (tie) Dan DeLuca: 7 events, 16 sections, 180 players = 203

3. Phil Lowell: 5 events, 6 sections, 183 players = 183

4. Roger Morin: 9 events, 13 sections, 63 players = 85

5. Barry Magda: 2 events, 2 sections, 80 players = 84

6. Alex Relyea: 2 events, 6 sections, 50 players = 58

7. Andy Bryan: 2 events, 6 sections, 44 players = 53

8. Lee Doucette: 2 events, 9 sections, 29 players = 40

9. Tom Sandford: 2 events, 5 sections, 31 players = 38

10. Jim DuBois: 2 events, 4 sections, 30 players = 36

11. Nita Patel: 1 event, 3 sections, 18 players = 22

12. Brian Roderick: 1 event, 4 sections, 16 players = 21

13. Akagi Kayashima: 1 event, 2 sections, 10 players = 13

14. Aaron Spencer: 1 event, 1 section, 2 players = 4

MECA Officers and Board

We thank the following individuals for volunteering their time and energy to MECA.

Maine Chess Association Officers

President Andy Bryan

Vice President Dan DeLuca

Secretary Lee Doucette

Treasurer Andrey Savov

Maine Chess Association Policy Board

Dan Keliher

Ron Lewis

Phil Lowell

Barry Magda

Thanks to all who have made 2013 a great year for chess in Maine!

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